Skip to main content

tv   [untitled]    October 7, 2012 10:30am-11:00am PDT

10:30 am
i had inspectors from richmond come to my house at night when they were off-duty and we did make very, very -- we made lots of progress in this case at the time. we recovered both video and pictures of the suspects. some of our -- some of the videos we distributed were to banks in china town such as east west, bank f orient, wells fargo, bank of america, chase bank, citibank. in fact, the last victim knew about this scam already but she still fell for it because of i guess the pressure and superstition and beliefs. we haven't stopped. we will still have more outreach. i have another senior lunch coming up. i think the district
10:31 am
attorney's office is also scheduling more outreach to the community. that is just a little overview of what we have been doing at central station. approximate >> captain tom, do you know when the six suspects were arrested? what time or date they were arrested? >> that was -- this was in the first series. >> yeah. >> this is before i got to central station. this was a while back. i think lieutenant stalini would have that information. >> the second and third series have decreased significantly. >> my officers said everyone in the community was talking about this. i think that scared them off. but we had to make a decision with economic
10:32 am
crimes whether to broadcast this or try to catch the people. we felt it was much more important to not ruin anymore lives, so we broadcast it over the media. i think the media -- both american media and chinese media did an outstanding job. >> thank you, captain. >> thank you. >> i did want to say we have also inspector john loftis that is with us here today as well. >> supervisor avalos, question probably for the inspector as well. are we seeing continuation of reporting of people being scammed, members of the community scammed like this? >> supervisor, i think based on the tremendous outreach we have had, i think we are getting most of these reports. generally speaking, when an elderly person loses their life savings we will hear about it. i understand there is a bit of a disconnect with the elderly chinese community. especially if it is the
10:33 am
immigrant population. based on the outreach we have done at central station, captain tom has done, a lot of work the special victim's unit has done with d.a. and s.a.f.e., i feel pretty confident. we have identified the vast majority of these victims, if not all of them. it what is interesting in this case, as captain tom said, the last victim -- the victim we watched the video on. the video is a little better than came across, so it was daytime. that victim was told about this scam a week prior at work, so our outreach is working. i fell that has a lot to do with the big reduction we are seing in these cases. what we are dealing with here were the six suspects arrested -- it was back in may. the six arrested were all chinese nationals, so they come in much like different theft groups we have, from like the central american theft groups that come up
10:34 am
on occasion. there is a theft group now that targets hispanic -- elder hispanic people. a lot of times they travel throughout the under. they go from city to city, much like these are doing. when there's chinese nationals, they are difficult for us to identify and by the time we identify them they are off into another town. that is why like on the ones we were able to identify and arrest at airport, boston had a couple of warrants for them. they had been in new york, then they are gone. it is a very complicated investigation. it is an investigation we are working on. the f.b.i. has a parallel investigation. the special victim's unit meets frequently and they exchange information with the f.b.i. on this case so we have a little broader reach nationwide and we can be more successful in prosecution and identification of the suspects. that is kind of where we are at. the bigiest success has been the outreach, just getting the word out to the
10:35 am
population that this is going on and to please be careful. not only to the potential victims but captain tom has gone to the banks. especially the chinese banks, those frequented by chinese people saying if you have an elderly person that comes in here and withdraws $40,000 in cash let us know immediately, detain them, find out what they are getting the cash for so they don't put it in a bag and walk down the street and give it to these other people. that is just building upon what you already heard. >> thank you. i did want to acknowledge what captain tom said about officers and inspectors really going above and beyond kind of the call of duty to really put your head together and come up with great community strategies based on your knowledge of chinatown but really making an effort to raise as strong awareness as possible through community education with s.a.f.e. and others. did you have questions,
10:36 am
supervisor olague? >> no. i can imagine this is an issue that occurs in other areas, i know. i'm just wondering if you have received many complaints from other groups. you know, i know in chinatown they are obviously targeted but is it uncommon in other neighborhoods? >> absolutely. several of these cases have occurred in sunset, the richmond. >> i'm wondering if other ethnic groups are targeted for something similar. that is what i'm asking. i was actually approached about ten years ago in a similar manner, so i imagine it is something that occurs. of course that was one random incident. this particular scam tends to deal on an asian suspicion. there is a lotto scam prevalent now. it is whatever the flavor of the day. whatever they think they can get away with, they will do. >> and as supervisor mar
10:37 am
mentioned, i think it is important to work with some of the senior groups right now to inform seniors of this. maybe they are the most vulnerable people that are targeted. i imagine it occurs in all age groups. >> absolutely the seniors are most vulnerable. that is where we concentrate our outreach efforts. >> can i ask this to either inspector loftis or lieutenant stalini or captain tom. who's orchestrating all these? if they are chinese nationals and it seems like it is orchestrated, who is at the top kind of coordinating this, do you know? >> i don't think we know yet. there's obviously some central command structure in their group, or there may be multiple command struck -- structures and multiple groups. it doesn't take too much of criminal moxie to put together a group of four, five people and target individuals on the street
10:38 am
and say, you stepped in some blood. now you've got bad luck. you better bring down all your money and jewelry, we will bless it for you. >> thank you. next speaker is assistant district attorney rebecca prozen. thank you for the prosecutions on these cases too. >> thank you. good morning, supervisors. it is a pleasure to be here, thank you for the opportunity to talk about our outreach efforts on these horrible cases. it is important to attorney gascon to use the office as an educational tool so we use our resources to let seniors and the best way to prevent crime is by education. cases like these can grow exponentially, especially if thieves are successful, it spreads. and the only way to stop that is to let folks know individually and by a group. we have been doing a lot of elder abuse, financial abuse education starting in may for elder abuse awareness month.
10:39 am
we were in the tenderloin and did a forum on elder abuse at the self help for the elderly's downtown senior center. we did a merchant walk and self-help in a subforum in chinatown. we have worked with groups like asian pacific islander, adult protective services, cameron house, adult protective services, sf safe and another group, asian-american community center and the police department to help seniors understand don't give over your jewelry or your money, it is not a good idea. we have had four forums, the first in may in chinatown; we had a second in chinatown; a third in the outer sunset and yesterday visitation vaolly. -- valley.
10:40 am
every one have been jammed packed. we estimate we have educated over 500. we have bilingual fliers, also in spanish and russian. i have brought copies to have in your offices. at the forums we show the video that's been discussed. it is a ten-minute video that goes through a scam so people see how you are approached, what happens, why you shouldn't do it. it is a very moving video. i brought extra copies of that as well. all of the meetings have obviously been translated so we can make sure they are accessible to anyone and everyone who wants to come. we have met with all the victims of the cases. not just one in the charged case, so that everyone knows what is happening. we have had significant media coverage on the forums. the d.a.'s been on chinese radio, ktsf radio 26, main stream chinese press at every one of these educational forums.
10:41 am
we hold a monthly ethnic briefing, where we have highlighted as much as we can. we obviously want to do that. we have victim service hours in the neighborhood. we are there at cameron house in chinatown every wednesday from 9:30 to noon. when one of the d.a.s and i were there one of the victims showed up. dee was able to talk to her about what happened. we have been talking to that victim as well as other cases. >> so cameron is on sacramento and stockton street. when are those? >> every wednesday, from 9:30 to noon. then on october 27th we are actually having a chinatown resource fair to bring the community based organizations and city departments to portsmouth square so we will highlight this issue again so as much as we can get the word out to people, we will. i would be happy to answer any questions.
10:42 am
>> thank you. are there questions? let me just ask about victim services for the district attorney's office. if somebody's lost a bunch of cash and some jewelry, how soon might they recover their stolen property if you have apprehended six people. you know how quickly somebody could recover their losses. >> that is difficult because it is hard to identify money. even just forsake of example someone loses 10,000 they can't necessarily identify those as theirs or the $50s as theirs if they are mixed together. one of the things we have stressed is for people to take a log or inventory of their property at home. even jewelry has been difficult. i think that is one of the problems with the cases as they are. >> thank you. supervisor avalos. >> thank you. thank you for your presentation. just thinking about outreach that might happen
10:43 am
in my district where there have been in some incidents, not as many, but the mission y is a good place. there is a senior lunch that happens there about every day on mission street by 280. there's also the excelsior community center on the corner of mission and excelsior. a lot of programs, multiethnic. there is i.t. bookman center. >> i missed that? >> the i.t. bookman on randolf and victoria. temple united methodist has a program. there is a lutheran church on beverly close by a couple blocks up. those are all good places to do outreach. there is a korean group on broad street or sagamore
10:44 am
that is worth outreach as well. >> thank you, i would be happy by to work with your office on a meeting. >> thank you, ms. prozen. >> thank you. >> the last speaker is david chen the out reach coordinator. thank you for the work over the years. >> thank you for having me here today, supervisors. they all said what i wanted to say, but i want to point out one thing. s.a.f.e. plays a major role in the office and educational forum, programs in this scam series. however, s.a.f.e. also do another one, is educating the younger generation. that means middle-aged parents. there are still a lot of centers who don't go to
10:45 am
community centers. they may be illiterate, may not have access to televisions because the -- grandchildren actually use the television, so they are out of touch with the world. these are very vulnerable targets. ones that step out on the street alone. so we want people to go back and tell the elderly parents, particularly the elderly asian woman parent to be aware of this kind of scam. everybody say that this is something recent. actually this is not. this is century old scam generated from the fear of ancient belief in supernatural power. when i was a kid my grandmother tell me a lot
10:46 am
of stories. at that moment you receive this kind of story and it really stays in the memory. if there's anyone who came to you and telling you something will happen to you because some evil thing is attached on your body, they will strike fear. you overwhemingly fear and coerced and overwhelmed with emotions. your in-laws, cousins. and follow instruction. also given the impression that this perpetrators, they believe they are using application drugs to make their victims unconscious
10:47 am
and follow instructions. there's no evidence so far, even when i was working in hong kong, we never found any evidence on that. but there is a strong belief in that. second thing i want to say is language barriers. we found out in ones we have attacked in san francisco we find there is a huge limitation in this language services. i'm helping and actually i was donating a lot of my personal time in translating personal documents because they don't have an officer who have capacity of getting document translated.i covered
10:48 am
my points because -- >> i just want to say thank you for your work. i really believe you go across the entire city above and beyond and you have done a lot of volunteering of your time. i'm sure you have done this a lot. i just want to say thank you for your service. it is really important. we rely a lot on you in the city. there should be more of you in terms of doing what you are doing so thank you. >> i think you are right. should be more of me but unfortunately there's only one of me and the entire san francisco say also can't find another one, even in sfpd or the d.a.'s
10:49 am
office. >> can i just say that one thing that really angers me about these scams is many seniors are really isolated and don't have a younger person to talk with them about being careful, so they are so isolated that they don't talk to others. i'm hoping sf safe or the senior organizations and many community-based groups can do more to reduce that isolation for many older folks. but i think that is a broader issue than what law enforcement can deal with but i see that targeting vulnerable that are most isolated is what many criminals do. >> another thing is, a serious lack of knowledge in the u.s. criminal justice system. they don't know how to follow this system. sometimes the victim believe if i make a report to the police all my lost
10:50 am
property will be recovered and then i get paid back. that is not true. a long, legal process. sometime they get frustrated. they don't go to police. there is also a cultural thing as they feel ashamed. some don't even want to tell their family because being a senior in the family and you get cheated, it is a very disgraceful kind of thing in a family so they try to hide and not coming forth to report. luckily because people come out a lot of reports are made but i believe there are lots of unreported cases. >> thank you, mr. chen. supervisor olague? >> we have worked with s.a.f.e. on a lot of issues. i'm grateful for what you
10:51 am
do. i haven't heard anything from constituents from districts. but there is a large senior population. many from here. i will check in with the senior sensors and work with you. >> actually, kimochi. >> i will check in with kimochi and other groups in the neighborhood. >> thank you. if there are no other questions, let's open this for public comment. is there anyone from the public that would like to speak? seeing none, public comment is closed. i just wanted to, if there are no other comments from my colleagues right now, i will just say that this is really a great example of law enforcement and s.a.f.e. to work together to deal with the first series. it is pretty clear there's
10:52 am
been a decrease but the community awareness that you're doing is really encouraging. so thank you so much to the police, district attorney and s.f.s.a.f.e. and senior organizations mentioned today. i also want to say that i think the amount of media publicity with some of the chinese media and mainstream media has helped to raise awareness. but much more needs to be done, especially with isolated seniors and others, so i'm glad it is continuing. also working with the f.b.i. on prosecuting and really trying to identify the key root causes of these types of scams. i also wanted to say that i think the town halls and community meetings you are doing i think are really critical. i will make sure my office is participating and supporting with the d.a. and police department's materials. especially in chinese. also you mentioned russian language materials for our neighborhood and working
10:53 am
with the media to keep the awareness up. i wanted to also say that next week i know that s.f.s.a.f.e. is working with my office to raise awareness in the richmond district with merchants and seniors as well. we will probably work with the jackie chan center, which is self-help for elderly and other things to continue the outreach in my district. i will also reach out to the police department and d.a.'s office to join us in raising as much awareness as we can in the richmond district. in the next workshops you are doing, please let all of our offices know so we can broadly outreach. not just chinatown but also bayview, ingleside especially and southern district. it's really spread. the incidents are all throughout the city, looks like. thank you so much for being
10:54 am
here. i wanted to also say that as david chen said, these are scams that will maybe keep coming up in different types of ways, so that the work all of you are doing to prevent elder abuse kind of is also the broader issue. thank you so much for the great work. if there's no other comments, i would just like to move that we continue this item to the call of the chair. >> okay. that we can do, without objection. we will continue this item to the call of the chair. want to thank d.a.'s office, police department, mr. chan from s.f. safe for your presentation and your work. i'm glad we saw the video. it really gave me a sense of what people are -- how they are being preyed upon. made me very angry. it think it is important we have a good understanding of that, so it was educational for me. francis shay in my office is the best person to contact around how to do the outreach in our district as well, district 11. thank you so much.
10:55 am
we will adjourn this meeting. [ meeting adjourned ] >> i want to learn more about e-mails, internet. er >> social networking and e-mail. >> i want to know how to use it. >> the digital divide is essentially the divide between those who have access to these digital tools and those who don't. >> these young people is having
10:56 am
computers and i just don't know, they're doing it fast. so, i want to know. >> not knowing how to navigate the internet is at a loss of what to do. >> we don't have a computer. >> we are non-profit that unites organizations and volunteers to transform lives through digital literacy. our big right now is the broadband technology opportunity program, a federally funded project through the department of aging so we're working in 26 locations, our volunteers are trained to be tutors and trainers offering everything from basic classes all the way to genealogy and job search. >> to me, a computer aon auxiliary brain, it's like knowing how to use your brain, how important is that. i think it's important and
10:57 am
possibly seniors, it's important for them to stay in touch. er >> people like facebook or skype so they can connect to their family members or see their family member's albums from far away. >> (speaking spanish). >> what we like to focus on is transferring skills from volunteer to learner to help them get on to facebook, find housing on craig's list, being able to connect with friends and family. >> i decided teaching them what i knew and that got me into wanting to give back and to learning more and how it works.
10:58 am
>> i discover -- i discovered that seniors need a lot of review. >> i am beginner so little by little, i learn a lot now. >> i learned just the basics, if you get the basics, you can learn it, if you don't get the basics, you're lost. >> it's simple, it's easy, once you know it and that's what i want to learn, how to make my life easier and more knowledgeable with a computer. >> so, what we need right now are more people who speak languages other than english or in addition to english, who can give their time during the day and who care deeply ideally about helping to close the digital divide. >> you know, its's a humbling experience, it could be something simple to us in our daily lives but to someone that doesn't know and to help somebody gain that experience in any way, it's awesome.
10:59 am
>> (speaking spanish). >> no matter how tired or cranky or whatever i miekt feel when i walk into this class, i walk out feeling great. >> if you feel comfortable using a cuter and you have patience, we want you on our team. >> with they showed me how to do skype. >> will you help me learn more?